Social entrepreneurship: The logic of paradox

Scott Weller, Bing Ran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Social entrepreneurship is a paradoxical phenomenon wherein seemingly incompatible elements such as business and social logics coexist. Previous research has been insufficient to systematically describe how social entrepreneurship organizations (SEO) try to balance these logics and why these same paradoxical elements make social entrepreneurship what it is. Using the systematic literature review method, this paper examines six major paradoxes and how they affect both the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship by furthering the nascent discussion about the role of paradoxes in SEOs. Viewed through the lens of organizational logics, this paper argues that the dynamic interplay between these paradoxes initiates and drives the innovations and changes necessary for the very existence of SEOs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10642
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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